…where have all the bank services gone?… long time passing…

…’fess up time… in a different life, this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler was once a banker… a Trainee Master of the Financial Universe… I skulked around as a manager of treasury departments and headed foreign exchange dealing rooms for a coupla decades and threw in some service for another coupla decades as a customer-facing senior executive as well… however, it seems so loooooong ago, now, Mabel… and sadly, as most of us have also experienced, things ain’t what they used to be… I don’t wanna sound like the old generation ‘we did it so much better’ kinda thing, but let’s consider a few issues here: first up, there’s a permanent place in a burning hell awaiting the genius who devised the ‘customer call centre’ concept, where yer first response is a mechanical voice menu that takes yeez on a ten-minute (minimum) merry-go-round, waiting to talk to a ‘real’ person… the limbo message is usually of the order of ‘your call is important to us’please hang on, all our agents are busy chatting with much more important people than you, but we’ll try to get to you before you lose the will to live… second issue, when yeez give an online instruction to remit funds to another bank… they debit your account IMMEDIATELY, but the funds get credited into the beneficiary account days afterward… so who’s getting the benefit of the float?… and thirdly, as for the fees and charges… for a simple internet click yeez can pay anywhere up to US$4o equivalent, ‘handling charge’...who did the handling?… yerself!


…and fourthly, just try to deposit any amount to yer account more than the cost of a sandwich and they ply yeez with an anti-money laundering inquisition about yer source of funds… I kinda doubt that hundreds of millions of we customers are secretly international drug barons and money-launderers… and fifthly, the wonderful ‘annual service charge’ for having yer own money sitting with them… if only the WURD ‘service’ meant sum’thing real… I’m driven to consider keeping all my bank stash in the old-fashioned Scots bank… the mattress… if any of yeez wanna deposit in there with me, my service charges schedule is available upon request… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…Authoress mate, Carol J. Hedges, she of the coruscating hairstyle, hosts me today on her blog…


…one of my special scribbling pals, Authoress, Carol J. Hedges, writes the superbly entertaining Stride and Scully detective novels, set in Victorian London… if yeez haven’t treated yerselves to a copy of her books, my first recommendation for 2017 is to download her WURK immediately… besides that, she demonstrates immense trepidity by permitting literary itinerant rapscallions such myself to invade her splendid blog, THE PINK SOFA… yeez can follow her on carolhedges.blogspot.com


Carol and I have each individually trodden the self-publishing/house-publishing/back-to-self-publishing trail… here’s my intrusion over there today which speaks to some of that issue…

Sunday, 1 January 2017

The PINK SOFA welcomes Seumas Gallacher

Having seen out 2016 in a blaze of glory which was almost just a blaze owing to some dodgy Christmas lights and a sparkler, the PINK SOFA welcomes its first guest of 2017. Debonair, urbane wit, writer and man about town, Seumas Gallacher pens the sort of fast-paced crime thrillers that keep you turning the pages from the first to the last. He has graced the PINK SOFA on a couple of occasions in the past, so it is a delight to welcome him back, with some sound advice for writers, to start off the year.

…self-published Authors, be careful what yeez pray for…

…as a scribbler of crime fiction, NUTHIN would please me more than to have one, and preferably more, of my wee literary babies become record-shattering bestsellers… when I began this incredible writing journey over eight years ago, my initial objective was to acquire one of those elusive mystical beings… a large international publishing house to carry my WURK to a grateful, anticipative, universal readership, who in turn would drool over every bon mot I produced… reality wasn’t long in pushing its nose in the way, and rubbing my nose into the mud of unrequited Nobelesque Prize aspirations… in turn, I have been a self-publishing author, then a ‘housed’ member of a good, modest-sized, literary stable, and now reverted to being my original persona, an ‘indie’ pensperson… and along the way, the dawning of a few reality-check-type home truths has settled in my brain… there are millions (yes, Mabel, millions) of titles on offer on Auntie Amazon alone… those whose tomes reach the pinnacles of the New York Bestseller lists et al are a miniscule fragment of the legions who reach for the Kindle skies… I’m told, however reliably or otherwise, that sales amounting to just 500 copies of a title constitutes ‘best seller’… most books don’t sell more than 50 copies… nowt wrong with that, of course, as many, many people write for their own pleasure and the real joy of having ‘written my book’… but back to those of us who do have dreams of ‘one of my books in every household’… allow me to share my experience in this… my sales/downloads (aggregated of all my titles) are somewhere in the region of 100,000… made me a millionaire, right?… wrong!… I’ll break it down for yeez… about half of these are ‘promo’ sales on various Amazon programs over these intervening eight years… Amazon counts free promo downloads as ‘sales’… I’ve no problem in letting freebies into the market, as I believe they generate real cash sales… however, and here’s a point to note… the resultant royalties spread over those years, while contributing somewhat to the rent, doesn’t put a Ferrari in the garage, or anything approaching it… as it is, self-publishing gives me much more than I was able to generate through a publisher, and in the event a major house came calling, I would have to think very carefully before I’d surrender my sales destiny to them… why?…  a few things… first of all, control would disappear… even the checking of my sales figures on a regular daily or weekly basis would be taken from me… the publisher sees them, not the author… regardless of whether or not yeez have a publisher, the writer still has the lion’s share of the promotional and marketing burden to manage… a publisher is more likely to be on yer case to produce the next blockbuster, and the next, and the next… the artWURK choice passes to sumb’dy other than yerself… more loss of control… payments are done usually semi-annually, and yeez would have the devil’s own job to audit and check if the figures are correct… with self-publishing on Amazon, it’s every-month payments straight to yer account… and oh, yes, the size of royalty per copy is normally peanuts when sold via yer publisher… and yer books can take up to a year and more to be published after yeez give it over to yer publisher… more control loss… one more wee issue before I leave yeez… consider this… when yeez look after yer own ‘business of writing’ only ONE author is being 100% looked after… yerself… with ANY publisher, let’s say with 99 other writers in their stable, the law of averages says yeez’ll receive at best 1% of their focus…  still wanna be ‘house-published’?… self-published Authors, be careful what yeez pray for, yeez might get it… meantime, I’m off to Guest Speak to another gathering of potential loyal readers of my books… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


Find Seumas :

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005D7JNCQ/ref=series_rw_dp_sw/156-0804034-8330652

Twitter: @seumasgallacher

Blog: seumasgallacher.wordpress.com



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Best Bloggers Blogging in 2016!

…2016 year-end Bloggers’ mentions from the indominatable Susan Toy….mwaaah , m’Lady,Susan… thanks for the inclusion… honoured , flattered and delighted 🙂 🙂 :i

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing


These past few years (2015 and 2014), I’ve wrapped up twelve months of blogging by listing my favourite bloggers who I have subscribed to and read, and whose blogs I believe would be of interest to my readers. Chris Graham (aka The Story Reading Ape) created this nifty badge that any of the bloggers on my list are welcome to add to their own blogs!

This year’s list is going to look a bit like a roundup of the usual suspects, as so many of my favourite bloggers continue to post to their blogs and write so well. A few of those old favourites have stopped blogging, but there are a few new discoveries this year, and one is a former book publishing colleague who is absolutely new to blogging just this week! So I’ll begin my list this year with the newbies-to-me, for variety sake.

Please do…

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…the language of the Celtic Gods… Gaelic as she is spoke… from my pal, 2ndwitch…


…I’ve elaborated several times, then several times more about the magic and beauty that resides within the  Celtic language and its music… my formative teens were spent living and WURKING in Tobermory on God’s Gift of an island, Mull, in the Scottish Hebrides... my immersion in the local community and the Gaelic tongue brought immense pleasure, including a sheaf of medals in solo singing at the An Comunn Gaidhealach’s National Mods… comes now this terrific post from my dear friend, 2ndwitch… enjoy…

aaaaaaaThe Gaelic Legacy

by 2ndwitch

 It is so easy to take things for granted. Reading, for example. We read stories, poems, factual books, all sorts and combinations . . . but how often do we stop when reading to think about the origins of the words in front of us?
This has been brought home to me these last three months. I am English, born in Lancashire (and in some ways very proud of my heritage), but I have lived north of the border for over half my life, and these last months I have been studying Scottish literature, including a module called ‘The Gaelic Legacy’. I do not have the Gaelic, and much as I would love to learn I suspect I am now too old and too inflexible to change that now, but this module, led by the Gaelic poet and academic, Meg Bateman, has been fascinating.
So much of the beliefs of Gaeldom were ahead of their time. They believed in a round earth at a time when it was ‘known’ to be flat, they revered women, they held their bards in high esteem, and most of all, they showed understanding of and respect for the earth and nature in all that they did. Many places and rivers are named for various goddesses – such as Banff, Loch Earn, Dee, Don, Tay etc, and many features in the landscape and hills are named after parts of a woman’s body – Cailleach, Mam etc.

The poetry of the bards down the centuries tells the history of the Highlands, it reflects the politics and exploitation of the glens, the clearances and the raping of the land. The stories of Lewis Grassic Gibbon are rooted in the land, in nature, as are Edwin Muir’s writing, George Mackay Brown’s and so many others. And perhaps most of all, the poetry of Sorley MacLean, that is clothed in the Gaelic Legacy but when so clad can stride across Europe and further afield.


And as Meg herself has written, “In Gaelic culture we have the remnants of primal understanding of man’s place in nature.” I think we need to look hard at the Gaelic Legacy, it has a lot to teach us!

… many thanks, 2ndwitch… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…from the slums of Docklands Govan to the Opera Houses of the World… the magic of music…

…been asked to reblog this … gladly …:)

…as this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler heads into dotage, it has always baffled me why sum’thing responds in me when I hear music… real music… not the noises which ofte…

Source: …from the slums of Docklands Govan to the Opera Houses of the World… the magic of music…


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…self-publishing Authors… are marketing and free Auntie Amazon promos worth it?…


…most of my wunnerful scribbler friends on the Web enjoy the creative writing side of the business, but that same 99.99% are also delighted when the Auntie Amazon sales pages are ticking upward… and this ol’ Jurassic is no different… those of yeez who honour me by reading these blogs regularly will know that I’m not shy in pushing my wee literary masterpieces… I’ve often pointed to the fact that in the modern self-publishing or ‘house-published’ WURLD, the Author/Authoress has to be multifaceted… writer/editor/copywriter/proofreader/cover art designer/formatter/advertiser/promoter to get heard amidst the Blogosphere din… I’m not advocating spamming… far from it.. spamming turns more people off than it brings aboard… but I mean properly presented programs to put yer WURK in front of potential readers… I’ve just completed a five-day free promo on Amazon Kindle for KILLER CITY, the second most recent of my titles… I chose that title because my sales/downloads tracker on the Author sales pages indicated it was lagging in sales/downloads among the five books I currently have out there… result after five days?… excellent…


…a gratifying number of readers downloaded, and it’s now on a par with my other titles… now, here’s the thing for self-publishers (and others)… during the promo period, the remaining four books, also saw a tick upward in sales (at normal pricing)… and astonishingly, and unexpectedly, these other four titles also saw significant increases in the KINDLE UNLIMITED usage, where the writer gets paid a fraction of a cent for every page read… and a lot of little makes a lot, believe me… having a back list is a vital piece for that, of course… using the Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter channels on a scheduled frequency, a few times daily, during the freebie period is essential, and it’s okay for that short period to put ‘AUTHOR PSE RT?’, as many fellow-pensters will click the ‘ReTweet’ and ‘Share’ buttons for yeez… don’t be shy at telling the universe where to find yer babies… go break a downloading leg, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… self-publishing Authors… are marketing and free Auntie Amazon promos worth it?… you betcha!… !

…here’s the family Christmas Photograph:

14569731_10154508569548070_2070252932_n…and where to find them:











…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…Jurassic I am… Jurassic I’ll remain… R.I.P. Blackberry mine…

aaaaa…I am unashamedly the supposed possessor of an abnormally high IQ… which means NUTHIN more than my brain seems able instinctively to figure out matters of logic… ‘logic’... stuff that makes sense… my affinity with numbers had me gravitate to an early career as a Trainee  Master of the Financial Universe as a foreign exchange trader in banks in London, Hong Kong and Singapore… no less impressive (at least to my granny), is the ability to fathom words from scattered letters… anagrams come easily, as does the odd, peculiar turn of phrase when I toy with the wordsmithing metier… so why, why, why, when it comes to compoootery stuff like laptops and mobile phones do I appear as sharp as a billiard ball?… I think it has sum’thing to do with the fact that I prefer to do mental arithmetic calculations rather than use a calculator… I’d rather devise WURDS in my head than go Google the online thesauri (that’s me showing off, Mabel… plural for ‘thesaurus‘… see what I mean?)…  so when it comes to trying to get my wee grey cells to understand the machinations of iStuff, my brain seizes up… for years I used a Blackberry… and it took most of these years to half-figure out how it operated… what buttons to press to do simple things like making a phone call to sumb’dy on my contacts list… and don’t talk to me about ‘apps’‘apps’… the shortened version of ‘stuff that gives Master Gallacher apoplexy’… imagine then the enormity of my grief when the faithful Blackberry ultimately had to be replaced… it shuffled off to that Great Big Device-Paradise in the Sky… getting a new Blackberry, I was advised, was ‘not a good idea’ as they are about to go obsolete, sumb’dy said… bit like myself, really… long story short, a purchase was made in the last month of a Samsung...


…not the amusing exploding model, but one with traits which are just as bad… its predictive text is producing a whole new language to baffle my friends… as if they weren’t puzzled enuff with the cryptic messages I used to send… and gazillions of overlapping virtual pages on the wee screen… all I want is to be able to send and receive texts and phone calls .. is that too much to ask, or as Monster Samsung Predictive Text says, ‘Is ham due such a cask?’… if yeez need me , I’ll be out looking for a telephone box…


…y’know, that big red cubicle with lots of little glass windows and a coin-pay thingy that lets you talk to people… Jurassic I am… Jurassic I’ll remain… R.I.P. Blackberry mine… see yeez later … LUV YEEZ!



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